How to treat old, scaly and brittle leather

Some old pigmented, smooth leather can get brittle over time. Such damages cannot be repaired by only using COLOURLOCK Leather Fresh and COLOURLOCK Fluid Leather. Leather Fresh is perfect on scratches, rubbed off colour and slight fading. Fluid Leather is optimal to fill deeper cracks and rips. It is however not suitable if an entire surface is being repaired.

To find out whether only the colour or the leather is damaged, you must move your hand over the damaged area. If the resistor is in one direction, then the leather is also damaged. The fibre structure of the animal skin is positioned obliquely and therefore leads to this phenomenon. In such areas, the COLOURLOCK Neutral Binder is the right product to use.

First degrease the repair area thoroughly with COLOURLOCK Leather Cleaning Spirit. Don’t use Mild or Strong Leather Cleaner in such areas! The damaged area would soak the liquid and the leather will get stiffer. The regular cleaning products (Mild and Strong Cleaner) are only recommended for undamaged surfaces.

After degreasing, apply Neutral Binder with a sponge in the direction of the fibre structure and let dry in between without a hairdryer. If necessary, repeat the process and smooth rough areas with the COLOURLOCK Sanding Pad. Neutral Binder is a strong binder which stabilises the surface of the leather without making it too stiff. Rougher areas can also be processed with a brush. Deeper cracks and rips can be filled with Fluid Leather. Finally, sand down rough areas with the Sanding Pad.

After the repair work, use COLOURLOCK Leather Fresh to recolour the repair area. Apply several times and dry in between with a hairdryer.

To protect the result COLOURLOCK Leather Protector is recommended. The Leather Protector contains anti-oxidants that reduce the disintegration of the leather and its UV filters protect the leather from fading. In addition, the leather regains a smoother surface.

Important! The application range of Neutral Binder is the most you can do to restore leather in such condition. The leather will not be as good as new, but will be stabilised for a further period.

furniture, seating area

furniture, seating area

entry flank - damaged side bolster in a car seat

Headrest on a plane seat


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Does a repair with Neutral Binder make any sense?

Extremely brittle leather is weak and should normally be replaced.However, it may not be worth spending the money to have the leather replaced, the same type(grain and leather may not be available) or the items may not be used intensely. The repair with Neutral Binder doesn't make the leather as new but it is a "last resort" solution.

How do I know which products I need and whether the repair would work at all?

The photos above provide a good indication but if you are unsure, please email photos to and we will assist you.

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